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B.C. has 114,600 reasons to celebrate International Education Week

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International students bring cultural, economic and social benefits to post-secondary institutions and communities throughout the province.

B.C. hosts more than one-third of all international students studying in Canada due to the high quality schools and institutions and our safe and welcoming environment.

In 2013-14, the top five countries with students studying at all levels in British Columbia include: China (28,700 students), South Korea (13,600 students), Japan (13,500 students), Brazil (8,900 students) and Saudi Arabia (6,200 students).

Why is B.C. such a popular study-destination other than the spectacular landscape and friendly welcome?

It is also because of a quality education that comes guaranteed. More than 160 public and private post-secondary institutions have an Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation in B.C. The EQA designation is the provincial standard for post-secondary institutions wishing to host international students with study permits.

International education is a two-way street. Since the release of B.C.’s International Education Strategy in 2012, government has provided over $11 million in scholarship funding to give more B.C. students the opportunity to study abroad and to bring more international students to the province.


Above – The Fort St. John Campus celebrated Diwali Nov. 12 with International Education students contributing traditional Indian dance and sweets for all students and staff to enjoy.

Job openings in B.C. are expected to exceed the number of domestic students going through the education system. International students are needed to support the diverse, strong and growing economy in the province.

The provincial and federal governments are working to help international students transition
from graduation to work through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The number of post-graduation work permits granted to international student graduates in B.C. increased by 51% between 2011 and 2013, from 1,357 to 2,050.

Under the BC Jobs Plan, government set a target of increasing the number of international students studying in the province by 50% by September 2016. Progress has been made toward this target with a 22% increase (+20,600) in the number of international students between 2009-10 and 2013-14.


Minister Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson –

“British Columbia’s high-quality education system attracts the brightest students who contribute to our diversity in cultures, ideas, activities and business. British Columbians can celebrate our international education sector, and all its benefits, during International Education Week this year.”

Dr. Randall Martin, executive director of B.C. Council for International Education –

“Great diversity, lifestyle, educational quality and geographic advantages convince international students from around the world that B.C. is one of the best places to study, play and work. Our own B.C. students are intrepid and courageous and learn much during their study-work opportunities throughout the world. International education provides enhanced opportunities for all students to transition to a labour market that welcomes graduates with
international learning and experience. A win-win for all.”

Dr. Bryn Kulmatycki, president of Northern Lights College –

“The international students we have at Northern Lights College are a wonderful and valued part of the student body that serve to remind us on a daily basis of how important cultural and social exchange is in enriching the educational process – we look forward to celebrating International Education Week with all of our students.”

Fernanda S. F. Barros, international student from Brazil, enrolled in the post degree diploma
in marketing with Douglas College –

“I came to Canada looking for better opportunities. I chose B.C. due to its beautiful landscape and Douglas College because of its post degree diploma programs and supportive instructors. I’m glad about my choices because I am already working in my industry and I feel positive about my future.”

Learn More

Meet three international students in B.C.:

  • Gurpreet Kaur:
  • Pooja Khanna:
  • Fatimat Shidi:

Information on international education in B.C.:

  • International education in B.C. factsheet:
  • BC Jobs Plan and international education:
  • International Education Strategy:
  • B.C. Council for International Education:
  • Students considering studying in B.C. can find valuable information on public postsecondary
    institutions and programs through the EducationPlanner: